Monday, April 14, 2008

Where's MY 40 Acres and a Mule?

African Americans tend to vote Democratic, a demographic factoid which is puzzling to Lt. Colonel Frances Rice (Ret.) of the Lincoln Heritage Institute. She has published an Open Letter to the Democratic Party demanding that they apologize for their roles in the repression of African Americans over the years. Check out some of this!

Whereas the Democratic Party has never apologized for their horrific atrocities and racist practices committed against African Americans during the past two hundred years, nor for the residual impact that those atrocities and practices and current soft bigotry of low expectations are having on us today,

Whereas the Democratic Party fought to expand slavery and, after the Civil War, established Jim Crow Laws, Black Codes and other repressive legislation that were designed to disenfranchise African Americans,

Whereas the Ku Klux Klan was the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party, and their primary goal was to intimidate and terrorize African American voters, Republicans who moved South to protect African Americans and any other whites who supported them...
Yikes! And without doing any of the research myself, I expect that she's right. First of all, about asking for an apology. We can afford to apologize, because we stopped acting that way (with the possible exception of Sen. Robert Byrd) around the mid-sixties. We could admit the mistakes, point out the good works we've done since, and pry away the remaining 45 Black Republicans.

Nowadays, white Republicans are in almost utter denial that there's any racial problem in America. They're furious that we're still running affirmative action programs, they're enraged that African Americans percieve that they're still being kept down. How dare they! While we Democrats are falling over ourselves to be good to the people that America kidnapped and made to build our nation, Republicans nowadays have decided that we have done enough and it's time for those ingrates to stop whining and climb the corporate ladder. Which will be easy because nowadays, there isn't any racism.

The white Republicans were pretty good to African Americans for a hundred years or so there, from a little before Lincoln to a little before Nixon. Then it seemed to turn around. That's when they started saying, "Why is that guy getting breaks I'm not getting? Why should I have to have some kind of artificial barrier to prevent me from competing fairly, while another guy HAS to be considered because of the color of his skin?" The answer, of course, is that it's a corrective to unconcious racism, but they keep saying there isn't any such thing.

Look, I'm sorry you guys aren't getting the credit you deserve for your century of progress. Seriously. But voters can't re-elect Lincoln. I'm not black, but if I were I'd be considering what you've done for me LATELY when casting my ballot. And as a white guy who doesn't want to be surrounded by dissatisfied African Americans, I'm sticking with the Democrats, guilty and backpedaling as nobly as they can.


wamk said...

Pop quiz:

How many Blacks did Bill CLinton (The first Black President!) have in his Cabinet?

How many Blacks did George Bush have in his?

Danielk said...

Trick question - no Blacks in either! They're African Americans now!

How many of Bush's AA's quit because their sensible advice was continually ignored?

wamk said...

To wit:

What do you call a black person in Canada?

African Canadian?

GWK said...

My ancestors (as are MD's) are from Northern Europe.

Are we to demand to be called Northern European Americans? (even tho we've never been there?)

Danielk said...

I'd be happy to call you that if you feel it's important to you. Would you rather I scream that it's unfair for you to choose your own labeling?

GWK said...

I just don't understand why everyone gets so butt-hurt about it, frankly.

As much as some deny it, white is a color, too. So when black people were called colored a few decades back, what were what people - invisible?

Just call us what we each are: black, white, brown, tan, etc., and get off the damn PC kick!

If you haven't even been to the place you want to be known as, are ya kidding?

Danielk said...

Right you are, wingnut.

wamk said...

So what are they called in Canada?

If "Black" is such a horrible term, why is it okay everywhere else but the US?

wamk said...

By the way, nice dodge of my original question.

If the Republicans are so rascist, why was/is Bushs' Cabinet more diverse than any other in history?

Danielk said...

Geez WAMK, because Karl Rove decided that it would attract the African American vote. Duh.

In my lifetime, the nomenclature has gone from "Negro" to "Black" to "African American" and honestly I think it's an attempt to outrun the pejorative connotations the words acquire. It's futile of course. Changing the words doesn't eliminate racism, it just makes us all learn new words. Still, I can see the motivation to try.

In Canada there is no need, because everyone is polite and easy-going there.

wamk said...

So the people in Bushs' cabinet aren't/weren't capable, just "tokens"?

Danielk said...

Even I wouldn't go that far. However, Bush's insistance on "loyalty" means that it doesn't matter what race a cabinet member is, as long as they never do or say anything that Bush would disagree with. This is why Powell resigned. He's a skilled, smart man, well qualified for the job, and he was just ignored. It is tempting to blame that on race, but Bush treats everyone like that. He's an equal opportunity oppressor. You could call that progress, I suppose.

wamk said...

So the onl;y way the Left would give Bush (or any Republican, for that matter) credit for having minorities in the Cabinet would be if it was someone like Juan Williams?

Looking at it from the other side, Obama has mainly black people in his "inner circle". Aren't those people "guilty" of the same type of loyalty that you claim Bush has in his group?

Danielk said...

It depends if Obama forces them out when they disagree with him, doesn't it?

I'm being disingenuous, I'll admit, by not talking about Condeleeza Rice. It's true that she apparently DOES agree with everything her boss says, but she is also capable and intelligent, and she's both a woman AND African American. So good on ya, Bush.

Donald said...

If I want to be referred to as rainbow-licious what's it to you? The point is, here in America we were searching for a respectable identity. The ones chosen for us had negative connotations. Now before you get started, all ("black people") African Americans do not call each other the N word. This identity crisis stemmed from aggressive behavior towards people of color via slavery and post-slavery human and civil rights atrocities. Trust me I wish it never happened but it did. If you feel bad about it, are embarrassed that would be normal but if you don't, and you want to pretend the aforementioned wasn't so bad and racism is all better now, then you have issues to address. Apologies of any kind can bring healing to both parties or we can stay at odds, point fingers and resolve nothing. The choice is in the hands of the offender and the offended.

Danielk said...

Your point is well-taken Donald. I think we can all agree that racism isn't as bad as it was 100 years ago, and yet admit that we still have a long, long way to go.

Presumably evolution will iron some of this out of us. Too bad it takes so long.